This year's submissions were of a very high standard. This, I suspect, reflects not only the improving quality of architecture generally in this country, but also the prestige of these awards.
The judging was intense but good humoured and our reward was to enjoy the commitment to quality by so many designers. There were several entries that in previous years may well have been outright winners. However, such was the standard this year that, regrettably, not all could receive the recognition that they perhaps deserved.
Several projects were highly deserving and these have been reflected in the awards given.
The judges felt that there should be an award for refurbishment. Many of the projects showed how aluminium as cladding and as extrusion offers a very appropriate contemporary material to help ensure the extended life of buildings. This presents an alternative sustainable architecture to some of the contemporary interpretations of it.
The joint winners reflect the extraordinary potential of aluminium while the projects themselves could not be more different. One uses extruded aluminium as a key structural component; the other is a tour de force that demonstrates how both scope and technique can be applied to aluminium in the pursuit of art and architecture.